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Chemosphere. 2005 Jul;60(2):170-6.

Passive air sampling theory for semivolatile organic compounds.

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National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology, University of Queensland, 39 Kessels Rd., Coopers Plains 4108, Brisbane, Australia.


The mathematical modelling underlying passive air sampling theory can be based on mass transfer coefficients or rate constants. Generally, these models have not been inter-related. Starting with basic models, the exchange of chemicals between the gaseous phase and the sampler is developed using mass transfer coefficients and rate constants. Importantly, the inter-relationships between the approaches are demonstrated by relating uptake rate constants and loss rate constants to mass transfer coefficients when either sampler-side or air-side resistance is dominating chemical exchange. The influence of sampler area and sampler volume on chemical exchange is discussed in general terms and as they relate to frequently used parameters such as sampling rates and time to equilibrium. Where air-side or sampler-side resistance dominates, an increase in the surface area of the sampler will increase sampling rates. Sampling rates are not related to the sampler/air partition coefficient (K(SV)) when air-side resistance dominates and increase with K(SV) when sampler-side resistance dominates.

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